Sports & Outdoors

Men’s tennis comes up short over weekend

It is no secret that Puget Sound men’s tennis has struggled at the outset of their 2013 season. Four straight conference losses to open the season—the last three of which saw the Loggers lose every set—had the team reeling. And so the Loggers began their slate of matches hoping for a different result.

The first match of the week came against rival Pacific Lutheran on Wednesday, March 6. Unfortunately, this match was simply more of the same.

To their credit, the Loggers fought hard during their doubles matches, as all three were very closely contested.

Sophomore Graham Baker (Denver, Colo.) and senior Michael Cutter (Colorado Springs, Colo.) fought particularly valiantly in the first match, but ultimately fell 9-7.

The team was also unsuccessful in its singles matches, as the Loggers were swept without any need for a tiebreaker. Cutter lost the team’s first singles match 6-4, 7-6, and freshman Daniel Deuel (Oakland, Calif.) fell 6-3, 7-6.

Despite these solid performances, the overall result was the same as it had been in the three prior matches: a 9-0 Logger defeat.

The weekend saw the Loggers go back on the road, facing off against Lewis and Clark and Willamette on March 8 and March 9, respectively.

From the beginning, the Loggers looked better than they had against PLU. For the first time all season, the Loggers claimed a doubles match, as Deuel and sophomore Jake Peterson (Bellevue, Wash.) handled their opponents in a fiercely contested 8-6 victory.

The match also saw Peterson win in singles, as he easily defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-2 to take one of two Logger singles victories. The other was a back-and-forth battle that saw Baker win 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Overall, however, the Loggers lost 6-3, dropping their record to 0-6 on the season.

The Loggers had one final chance to salvage their weekend, as they travelled to Willamette to take on the Bearcats on Saturday, March 9.

This time around, the Loggers jumped out to an early lead, as they claimed two of the three doubles matches. For the second time in as many days, Deuel and Peterson claimed their match, winning by a score of 8-4.

This time they were matched by the duo of junior John Stevens (Portland, Ore.) and sophomore Abe Noyes (Southwest Harbor, Maine), who won their doubles match 8-5.

Leading 2-1 after the first portion, the Loggers needed three victories in the singles matches to gain their first overall victory of the season. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

Deuel won the number three match by a score of 7-5, 6-4, and Stevens won 7-6, 6-1, but all of the other matches went the Bearcats’ way. Because of that, the end result was a 5-4 come-from-behind victory for Willamette over the Loggers.

Though the end result was the same, the Loggers can be encouraged by the fact that their last two matches were their most competitive of the season, suggesting that the team is slowly but surely improving.

However, there is no getting around the fact that this has been a disappointing start for men’s tennis.

The Loggers will face off against NWC rival Linfield today, March 15, in a battle of two teams still searching for their first win of the season.

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